Anyone asking what (a) Velouté is? – I doubt many, if any, but I’ll lead in with it’s definition, Velouté is (actually) a sauce made with a stock, chicken, veal or fish, thickened with egg yolk or a roux.
I ordered the cauliflower & porcini mushroom velouté for my appetizer at a better than usual French restaurant when location scouting in Durham, NC. It was REALLY Good. I knew then & there, “I’d be making that in my house”/ EVillage apartment.
It was a shining sunny Fall Friday that I made my way, with RhODy in tow, to the Union Square Farmer’s Market to get the cauliflower because I’m hyper focused to purchase produce or anything for that matter that is not wrapped & needless to say organic never mind how happy it makes me to support farmer’s.
At the last pop-up tent on the West side of the market a woman was selling absolutely beautiful cauliflowers, huge white ones, purple & yellow but then I noticed a small, handwritten in Sharpie ‘sign’ that read, NO MORE THAN $5 A HEAD. Stroking the largest white cauliflower on the folding table covered in a gingham cloth, I asked, “Seriously, I can have ‘this’ cauliflower for $5?” “Yes mam you can. If I charged you the weight per pound it’d probably be about $9.” “I got that” was my reply. I gave her a Five & put that one aside, chose the yellow one, and then a spaghetti squash & two Italian frying peppers from another farmer, found a Citibike with the open tray like basket and made it home in no time.
As you know, I made the yellow cauliflower Fall Rice first then a few days later the Velouté. My recipe search lead me to settle on this one; Velouté à la du Barry (Cauliflower Cream Soup) mostly BECAUSE the recipe included this fact: Invented in the eighteenth century for Jeanne du Barry, King Louis XV of France’s last maîtresse en titre (his official mistress), this cauliflower cream soup is now a French classic.
Short of following the directions to soften the cauliflower and cooking off two, I used yukon gold potatoes & a medium sized yellow onion, that was about it for me. I’ll take it from here:
- I brought a kettle of water to boil to use to rehydrate a small handful of dried porcini in a small bowl.
- I broke down 1/2 the head of (a large) cauliflower into flowerette chunks and cooked them off in a large pan 3/4’s full of boiling salted water over a high heat cooking them for at least 5 minutes or until they are fork tender. I removed the flowerette chunks from the boiling water w/a slotted spoon to a colander to let them dry out.
- I poured the salted water out from the pan, put the pan over a medium heat, dried the pan out then added just enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan until it shimmers then cook one diced onion over a medium-low heat until translucent. Then add two small diced potatoes, stir well, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cooked cauliflower. This is where the recipe calls to pour in 1 Cup of chicken stock. I poured in 1C of the liquid from rehydrating the dried porcini.
- The recipe called to add 1Cup of milk and 1 Cup of cream. I felt this was a bit much so added 1/2 C of milk & 1/2 C of cream. Stir well, season with salt and pepper, and I included a few good shakes of Outerbridges Sherry Pepper Rum. Simmer for 20 minutes. The vegetables must be very tender.
- Transfer the pan mixture to a food processor or a blender. I used my Cuisinart Blender. It worked like a charm. I definitely ‘processed’ the veg for at least 5 minutes, until the mixture was like velvet.
Velouté or velvet. What ever came first, put the velvety processed mixture back in a saucepan and simmer very slowly before serving. I served myself the velvet, velouté soup with garlic rubbed baguette croutons wishing I had fresh chives to snip on top.
Next entry – My absolutely, show stopping Spaghetti Squash casserole. Subscribe! You’ll support a scribe